The new university and college funding model announced by President William Ruto’s government in Kenya has drawn criticism from the opposition, led by National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi. According to Wandayi, the new model may increase college dropouts and tuition costs for families due to the economic climate. Wandayi cites over 600,000 KCSE candidates who were not accepted into universities in 2023, attributing this to high application costs and increased tuition fees.
The opposition accuses the government of trying to privatize institutions to extract money from the public. Wandayi asserts that the government has not provided clear guidelines for loan repayment, which could burden future graduates with massive debts.
In the Kenya Kwanza model, students are classified according to their economic situations. Vulnerable or extremely needy students receive 100% government funding, while less needy ones get 93% funding, with families covering the remaining 7%. Wandayi contends that this model unfairly shifts the funding burden from the government to parents and students.
He criticizes the wide disparity in course fees in universities, referring to a government-sponsored engineering course at JKUAT now costing Ksh. 336,000 per year. Wandayi is calling for a review of the funding model and for the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) to create another review opportunity for the 600,000 students who missed out.